Implementing an ERP rollout is notoriously complex, so it’s difficult to imagine taking on such an endeavour while your business is reliant on remote working. This might sound like a tall order, but it’s something many businesses have managed to achieve over the past year. Because when it comes to business growth and innovation, some things simply can’t wait.
Tackling something as resource intensive as ERP implementation during periods of uncertainty may sound risky, but for lots of businesses, it’s been necessary. Many firms have seen business increase over the past year and are now working around the clock to keep supply chains moving – and ERP is essential in making that happen.
But just how difficult is managing a remote ERP implementation? And what measures should you consider to guarantee success?
In this guide, we’ll answer your questions on implementing ERP software remotely, looking at the feasibility and challenges of such a project. We’ll also look to reassure you that implementation is entirely viable, with remote delivery becoming the new normal in many industry sectors.
First Things First: Is Now the Right Time to Implement ERP?
One question we’ve heard repeatedly throughout the pandemic is: is this the right time to think about such a complex business change? This is, of course, understandable, but it’s a query that we believe has a simple answer: yes.
The past 12 months have seen many projects shelved or placed on the backburner. But delaying the rollout of ERP software as a consequence of remote working isn’t something we’d recommend.
Why? If you were considering investing in ERP before the pandemic, chances are you need its features, benefits and solutions now more than ever. Automated processes, unified workflows and integrated data are all invaluable assets for a remote workforce, facilitating enhanced collaboration and faster turnaround times throughout your supply chain.
So, we’ve established that “now” is very much the right time to think about ERP implementation, but is it feasible? Certainly, remote ERP rollout has its unique challenges, but remember that it’s in the best interest of vendors and consultants to make investing in ERP as easy and straightforward as possible.
Throughout the ERP ecosystem, businesses have been quick to introduce new ERP delivery processes, aligning their offerings with the needs of remote-working businesses. As a result, remote ERP consulting and delivery is now more seamless and a lot less convoluted than you might imagine – at least from an external point of view.
But what about your business? What should you consider ahead of a remote ERP rollout? And what measures can help support a smooth implementation? These are all things we’ll look at in the next section below.
Tips for Managing a Remote ERP Implementation
Every business has its unique challenges and limitations, so only you can ascertain the right time to think about ERP implementation. Below, we share some tips and advice on the things to consider when assessing the viability of remote ERP rollout from an internal standpoint.
Do You Have the Necessary Resources?
People, time, money – the prerequisites of any ERP implementation project. The past 12 months have placed unprecedented demand on all three, so consider these assets carefully when weighing up the viability of your project.
From experience, we’d say out of the three necessary resources, people should be your biggest consideration. After all, the success of your remote ERP delivery ultimately rests on having the right personnel to take the rollout forward, with time and money hinging on their progress and success.
Before making a decision, ask yourself the following:
- Does my team have the capacity to take the project from end to end?
- Do we have the right internal expertise to manage the rollout?
- What pressures are individuals likely to experience throughout implementation?
- Can I warrant asking more from my team during periods of uncertainty?
- How can I incentivise team members to take on additional duties?
From here, you can begin developing an end-to-end roadmap for your remote ERP rollout, confident in the knowledge that resource won’t be an issue during the implementation.
Lean on Technology at Every Juncture
ERP implementation relies on open communication and agile, on-demand collaboration. By its nature, remote working makes this difficult to realise, which is why you’ll need to rely on technology more than ever to see the project through to successful completion.
The good news is that even during a regular ERP rollout, many elements of the implementation are carried out remotely – particularly activity dependent on external vendors and consultants. Thus, it’s a case of applying this type of collaboration to your internal implementation team.
Lean on available technologies at every stage of the implementation to maximise collaboration and communication between individuals. Project management tools, videoconferencing platforms and administrative automation tech can all facilitate open dialogue and transparent workflows between yourself and the implementation team – ensuring minimal comms hurdles as a result of remote working.
Know that Help and Support is Available
There’s no getting around the fact that ERP implementation is difficult. But this is true of any such project, regardless of whether it’s actioned in-office or remotely.
The one thing to remember when going into a remote ERP rollout is that help and support are always available – and we mean that in a literal sense. Vendors and consultants provide round-the-clock helplines throughout implementation, so if you hit a snag or begin to lose faith in the process, you can access the support and guidance you need.
Another point to remain mindful of: the end goal and the benefits it will bring. ERP implementation is a significant undertaking for even the savviest, most established teams, but your investment – that is, people, money and time – will all be worth it when you emerge from the other side and start reaping the rewards of your efforts.
We hope this guide to remote ERP implementation helps motivate you to consider such a project for your business. At JS3 Global, we’re experts in remote ERP delivery and implementation, having helped lots of businesses leverage the technology over the past 12 months. For more information or to speak to our experienced ERP consultants, visit the homepage or call +44(0)161 503 0866.